In a nutshell
The latest edition to Marylebone’s pretty (and seriously foodie) Seymour Place, Lurra is a contemporary, sophisticated Basque-inspired restaurant. It’s sister to Donostia, just across the road, and the building has a shiny new extension. There’s more to this trendy new joint than its good looks though: ingredients are key. With a meat import business (think 14-year-old Galician Blond, 67-day hung beef) supplying the likes of Kitty Fisher’s and Chiltern Firehouse, and a cellar downstairs housing top Spanish wines (including an incredible Louro from Valdeorras), owners Nemanja and Melody know their stuff.
Much of the food is cooked over charcoal and wood grills, including the standout sharing plate of whole turbot with Txakoli dressing (if you’re going all out – it’s £65/kg) that we had for main. The fish slides off the bone – milky and sweet – but don’t discard them once you’re done… we took to sucking the caramelized edges.
Blistered Gernika peppers are well seasoned with sea salt and good for picking at, but it was the sourdough with bone marrow, still encased in a hunking big bone, ready for its spooning, that had us ready for a battle over the last mouthful.
There are limited puddings on offer: a traditional mamia of milk and rennet is an interesting offering – sour, and silky like tofu, with a sweet hit from orange blossom honey. Worth a go, but for a failsafe win you won’t go wrong with the chocolate fondant with mastika ice cream (£5.50).
That aforementioned beef, also £65/kg, comes as a sharing plate, with meat to marvel and fat to fight over. It sizzled as it arrived. Grilled peppers are the perfect marriage of sweet and smoky, and top accompaniment alongside super-crisp fries with smoked paprika and an aioli that we were talking about for days. Even a plate of mixed grilled vegetables for £6 (think fennel, aubergine, spring onions, okra and more) was worth returning for.
There are some seriously good smaller plates to try, too. We loved the hake kokotxas pil-pil. Succulent fish throats (better than they sound) came swimming in a light, buttery herb dressing, while prawn croquettas were packed with proper chunks of king prawns, creamy on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside. Stuffed squid, with spicy chorizo, prawn and a glossy squid ink sauce were a success, too.
What’s the room like
There are floor-to-ceiling windows throwing natural light on the oak flooring, as well as a marble-topped bar, open kitchen, a wall clad with wood from old wine barrels, and a secluded courtyard. Modern but warm, and a space that translates well from day to night.
What we liked
The service is charming and entertaining – order the Txakoli wine (pronounced “chacoli” – don’t worry we got it wrong first time, too) and watch it be poured from a great height. You can sit at the bar and overlook the kitchen team, or tuck yourself away in the corner and fight over that last piece of steak…
Small plates range from £3 to £20.50 for a plate of three-year-old jamon ibérico, but most average around £7, sides £5, and the larger dishes a tenner. The large sharing plates, though, will set you back £65/kg.
Written September 2015 by Laura Rowe
Photos by Issy Croker
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